Increased demand for shelters expected if hurricanes threaten Florida coast
With COVID-19 protocols lifted, and people pinching pennies as inflation has hit a four-decade high, emergency-management officials anticipate people will opt for public shelters rather than drive to hotels hundreds of miles away when storms approach.
Florida man sentenced to 3 years for lying about Hurricane Irma damage
What's left of a home after Hurricane Irma passed through Big Pine Key on Sept. 13, 2017. ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for lying about damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Records show 49-year-old Steven Rembert was sentenced Monday in Orlando federal court. An indictment says Rembert falsified records concerning his primary residence in September 2017 when submitting an application for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017, causing about $50 billion in damage throughout the state.
No more tarps: Cocoa Army veteran gets new roof after Hurricane Irma damaged his
COCOA, Fla. – It’s out with the old and in with the new at the home of U.S. Army Veteran John Cowell Sr.Cowell, 61, said he’s finally at ease because for the last three years, he’s had multiple tarps covering his longtime home. “When it rains outside ... it’s raining inside the same way,” Cowell said. [TRENDING: ‘Christmas Star’ forming soon | This holiday drone light show is way COOL | Can I legally pass a police car in traffic?] Through the Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Owens Corning and Collis Roofing, Cowell was one of the many veterans selected to receive a new roof. He said Hurricane Irma ruined most of his roof and he tried fixing it with his brother but said it was too much for them.
Hurricane Irma caused 400 senior deaths in Florida, study shows
TAMPA, Fla. – The aftereffects of 2017′s Hurricane Irma appear to have killed more than 400 senior residents of Florida nursing homes, a new university study shows. Their study examined health data for 62,000 patients at 640 Florida nursing homes obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "Nursing homes need to really pay attention to these people when they’re in the process of reacting to a hurricane,” said co-author Lindsay Peterson, a research assistant professor of aging studies at USF. After Irma, the Florida required nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to install generators to keep residents cool in case of a storm. Nursing homes need generators that can allow cooling of residents in their rooms, not spot coolers that were used at Hollywood Hills.
College Park's fallen landmark, The Jump Tree, inspires school project
Among the fallen oaks and pines was a landmark in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, known as the "Jump Tree." Full Screen 1 / 27 Photos of the College Park Jump Tree, the subject of a school research project after it was knocked down during Hurricane Irma in 2017. Everyone had a story to share about the tree, West said. Research on the school project began soon after the idea. The idea of just swinging from a jump tree is just something that connects all the generations.
12-foot python hiding in Irma debris shocks South Florida residents
COCONUT GROVE, Fla. – Hurricane Irma brought winds, rains and, reportedly, a 12-foot python to South Florida last month. The Miami Herald reports the slithering snake was hiding in a pile of debris left in front of a Coconut Grove home. “It was terrifying,” Ricordi told the Herald. A biologist at the University of Florida told the Herald it was possible that the python made its way to the Coconut Grove neighborhood through canals from the Everglades. Others reportedly told Ricordi the snake probably arrived through Biscyane Bay via Irma's storm surge.
Irma recovery: Florida Keys will open to visitors Oct. 1
KEY WEST, Fla. – Florida Keys officials say the island chain hit hard by Hurricane Irma will reopen to tourists Oct. 1. Officials made their announcement Monday, more than two weeks after the Category 4 storm made landfall in the Florida Keys. Florida Keys officials asked visitors to postpone their trips after the storm damaged power and water supplies. Florida Keys spokesman Andy Newman said power and water service is now restored to customers that can receive them and a boil water notice has been lifted. The Key West and Marathon airports have reopened, but debris removal continues and some hotels and tourist facilities are still recovering.
Texas Roadhouse to donate 100% of profits to hurricane relief efforts on Sept. 27
ROANOKE, Va. – Texas Roadhouse announced that more than 500 of its locations nationwide will be donating all of their profits to The American Red Cross next week. On Sept. 27, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., 100 percent of profits will go to help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Texas Roadhouse has locations in Roanoke, Christiansburg and Lynchburg. Click here to find the nearest location to you.
Power is back on in Florida, but utilities still under fire
After a massive restoration effort, most of Florida has power 10 days after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity to nearly two-thirds of the state. Experts say improvements made to the power grid since Hurricane Wilma 12 years ago have meant less time for people waiting for their power to come back on. But that may do little to stem a growing backlash over the widespread outages that caused misery across the state and sparked sharp criticism from residents and elected officials. One top utility official apologized this week for how long it took to bring back electricity.
Spectrum answers questions on when services will be restored
CENTRAL FLORIDA – Agnes Churchill, 86, came back to her Altamonte Springs home Tuesday for the first time since evacuating from Hurricane Irma to find her Spectrum services are still out. She's one of thousands of Spectrum customers still offline. But Spectrum spokesperson Joseph Durkin, who drove from Tampa to Orlando to answer News 6's questions on Tuesday, said restoration is coming. "When commercial power went out it affected everybody so our customers were impacted because Spectrum, we rely on commercial power to deliver our products and services," Durkin said. Within just a few hours of our interview, Churchill's Spectrum services were back online, and her Lifeline device is now connected.
Duke Energy admits mistakes, apologizes for Hurricane Irma outages
CENTRAL FLORIDA – Last week, both Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light promised repeatedly that most customers would have their electricity restored by Sunday night. "We've been waiting on Duke Energy to get here and we haven't seen any sign of hope or any kind of workers maybe but once. Monday afternoon, Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks apologized for the missed deadline. This is the largest storm to ever hit the Duke Energy service area. As News 6 was leaving Sandy Shores, several Duke Energy line workers pulled up and began removing a tree that ripped down a powerline.
Duke Energy changes automated system so customers can reach customer service quickly
ORLANDO, Fla. – Duke Energy said it has changed its automated system so consumers can reach customer service employees more quickly. Hurricane Irma overwhelmed some systems Duke Energy said it relies on to provide information to customers. "We apologize profusely for any issues experienced with our customer service and appreciate our customers’ patience," Duke Energy said. The company spokesperson said Duke Energy received numerous customer reports that there was no opt-out option in the automated system allowing them to speak to a customer service representative. Customers can follow Duke Energy on Twitter and Facebook (Duke Energy) for updated information.
Brooksville couple suffers carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
BROOKSVILLE, Fla. – A Brooksville couple is recovering after suffering from carbon monoxide from their running generator, according to Hernando County Fire Rescue. The victims told officials that they had a generator outside the home in a breezeway. Fire fighters encountered fumes when they entered the home and used gas meters to confirm a dangerously high level of carbon monoxide, a news release said. The state has seen several carbon monoxide-related deaths since Hurricane Irma swept through the area. Click here for a full list of generator safety tips.
Getting immediate cash for Irma victims possible, but challenging
CENTRAL FLORIDA – Today is Eric Wright's eighth day as an evacuee from the Florida Keys. So he stopped by the America Red Cross (407 894-4141) at 5 N. Bumby Ave. in Orlando looking for a little financial help. You may also want to turn to Catholic Charities of Central Florida (407-658-1818) at North Semoran Boulevard in Orlando. Starting Monday, it's working to help Irma victims with bills, including rent. Hurricane victims can request that and other services, including the location of a local food pantry or a place offering hot meals, just by dialing 211.
What to do with your Hurricane Irma storm debris
CENTRAL FLORIDA – Now that Hurricane Irma has passed, Central Floridians are focusing their attention on recovery efforts. Orange County- Residents can bring vegetative debris to 10 citizen drop off locations throughout the county, which are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday. - Vegetative storm debris can be taken to the Central Landfill Facility for free. Marion County- Debris collection in Ocala will begin Monday and is expected to last 30 to 60 days. Debris should be separated into three separate piles -- one for vegetative debris, one for construction and demolition debris and one for electrical appliances -- and should not be placed in containers or bags.